“As dealers we need to know what we need to be doing today to be successful and figure out what our action plan is to achieve our goals,” says Ron Birkey, chairman of Birkey’s Farm Stores.

“If you start with a clear understanding of the financial metrics and know which ones are most important, you’ll be on the right track. The next step would be to understand where these same critical financial metrics will be in the next 3, 6 and 12 months, which will help you to make the necessary changes to keep your ship on the right track.”

For farm equipment dealers, a starting point is the industry’s “Cost of Doing Business” studies, which have been published since 1947 and are now compiled and published by the Western Equipment Dealers Assn. (WEDA).

With the support of WEDA, this special report discusses the data available for dealers and how to use it to benchmark your operations against the rest of the industry. It also provides a historical perspective to illustrate how dealers have progressed in improving their financial and operational metrics.

The editors of Farm Equipment also want to urge readers to participate in the 2015 “Cost of Doing Business” survey, which represents what happened in 2014. The survey is now being distributed to dealers.

“The more entities we have involved and the more locations, the more representative it is of the industry,” says WEDA Chief Financial Officer Curt Kleoppel.

“Everything is kept confidential; if you want to send financial statements anonymously, that’s fine. Just tell us your region and you don’t have to include dealership name or federal ID number. If you participate through your regional dealer association, you will receive a copy of the report free or at a discounted price.”

The deadline to submit information is June 30, 2015. Call Lonnie Finch, CPA, at 800-762-5616 with questions.

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